Since Karlstad is almost built on water it is an ideal place to rent a canoe. You could opt for going in the Klarälven river or in the Vänern Sea.
One very good place to rent a canoe is Kilenegården on the Hammarö island south of Karlstad. It is right next to the Väner Sea and you will be in open waters in just about 10-15 minutes if you want to. It is also very cheap, 15 SEK per hour or 70 SEK for 24 hours!
Mariebergsskogen used to be both a small zoo with domesticated northern animals and a small amusement park, but now only the zoo remains of the two in the Mariebergsskogen Park. There are several new things to see though.
In the park there is the zoo with animals like sheep, pigs, horses, cows, rabbits and so on. Ideal for children who can pad and feed some of the animals or sometimes ride a horse and so on.
There is also a natureroom, which consists of
A) a building with an exhibtion about the river, the swamps and the woods, the landscape which is significant for the Klarälvriver delta
B) a pathway through the forest and delta area where you can relax and maybe see some animals.
The third major feature of Mariebergsskogen are several culture buildings, old buildings which have been restored and provides a nice view of how typical swedish buildings looked long time ago. It's kind of a tiny-tiny version of Skansen in Stockholm (like 1 pro-mille of it...)
You can also play minigolf, have a waffle at one of the cafées or a light meal.
Mariebergsskogen is situated in the Marieberg area, a 20 minutes walk south of the city center.
The Main gates to the park are open 7-22 all year long
"Lillskogen", the children's zoo is open 9-16 all year.
The Natureroom exhibit hall is open wednesday, saturday and sunday 10-17 September-march. In the summertime they are open 10-17 tues-thurs and sat-sun, 10-15 on fridays and closed on mondays. The entrance fee to the natureroom is 40SEK.
During the summer months there are a couple of different businesses that run tours on the Vänern Sea. One of the boats you can go with is m/s Vestvåg, originally built as an ice-breaker by Motala shipyards in 1885, but rebuilt many times since then and today run as a tourist cruiser by Tillsjöss AB.
M/s Vestvåg can carry 73 passengers and has daily tours from June 22nd to August 22nd 2004.
There are two cruises day-time each day, one at 12 noon and one at 3 PM and the tours takes 1 hour and 45 minutes approximately. The price is 80 SEK/adult and 50 SEK/child. No meals or beverages are included but can be bought on board.
On thursday evenings at 6.30 PM during the above mentioned dates there is a special cruise in which a full meal is included. The cruise is called S.O.S-cruise after the swedish Smör-ost-sill, butter-cheese and herring. There is a nacho buffet to begin with and then on to the herring (3 different kinds), new potatoes and other typical swedish dishes. I don't know the length of the cruise but it costs 280 SEK/adult and 160 SEK/child.
On wednesday, friday and saturday evening there is a shrimp cruise at 6.30 PM. Same price as the herring cruise.
The cruise boat starts at the Inner harbour, just behind the Löfberg Lila coffee tower.
I didn't know where to put this tip so I finally decided for off the beaten path even though it's from the city centre.
When I was walking down Drottninggatan today I spotted these three street musicians and I had to stop and take a photo. Three elderly men playing Frank Sinatra songs in the middle of Karlstad, now that's something worth stopping for a few minutes for!
And here I was, thinking that it was only in Glasgow I got to listen to good street music (see tip in Glasgow page for that). Not that THESE three were as good as those in GG, but anyway!
Just south of the Railway station is the city garden, one of all the green areas in town. If you're into botanics and flowers this is a must, there are several hundreds of differents plants, trees and flowers.
Earlier I have had the idea that the City Garden isn't much for anyone not interested in flowers, but I've recently changed my mind as I think it's a nice place to rest. In the summer time there are usually quite a lot of people in the shades and the city garden is one of few places in the city where you don't feel embarrassed to lie down on your back under a tree. Just today for example I had a few minutes under a Caucasian wingnut tree...
Start where you loan bikes at the Square, go north, towards Sandgrundsudden, pass over the cycle bridge over the river, turn left on the cycle path just after the river and follow the river. There are many sofas and stuff along the river here, or bring a blanket and some nice things to eat and just sit down somewhere.
This cycle path ends up at Löfbergs Lila Arena, the icehockey arena at Fýrjestad.
Hammarö is actually the municipality to the south of Karlstad, but you should go see Hammarö church, it's beautiful and it's surroundings are astonishing.
Driving directions: Take Hammaröleden, road 236 south from Karlstad. Turn left at the round-about Lövnäs/Hammar. After about 500 metres is another round-about. Turn left in it, follow the road past Hammarlunden School and after maybe 100 metres you get to turn left for Hammarö Kyrka/Church.
Korpberget and Lompberget are two hills in the forest to the west of Karlstad, just by the River Nor and the small municipality of Vålberg. There are numerous remnants from the Bronze age and Iron age here, along a path about 5 km to the south of the E18 highway and just as long to the north. You will see several (10 or so) burial mounds from the bronze age, including one inside the ancient "castle" on Korpberget where you can still see the stone coffin.
On the north side there are also two burial mounds from the Iron age, possibly from the Viking era, along with yet another ancient "castle" (which is a large ring of collected stones).
This is a marvelous little excursion on a nice day, but bring shoes that you can climb the hilly passages with and which withstand the sometime wet paths. Also bring some coffee or tea and something to eat. Wanna have a snack with 3000 years of history around you?
Driving directions: Take the E18 to the east, drive PAST the road to Vålberg. Just before the big bridge over Nor's river there is a small parkinglot and a "sight"-sign. Park there and follow pathways. Bring CAMERA!
Karlstad lives on and about the river. You can find numerous places with a beautiful view and a nice place to have a picnic.
The first one I'll mention is in the category "almost splendid solitude" and is reachable both by car and bicycle.
By car, take the Hammarö road to the south, road 236. First you pass a waterway on a high bridge. Take the first small road after that to the right, marked "Karlstad" and "Sjukhus"(=Hospital). Drive along the river branch here, do NOT turn right again where it says "Sjukhus/Karlstad" go straight ahead and pick a spot, a table or a ponton bridge in the river and just relax!
By bicycle, follow one of the paths for Hammarö. From the city center for example, aim for the Löfbergs Lila Coffee-producer tower in the inner harbour, continue passed the inner harbour untilk. the traffic lights. Turn LEFT in the traffic lights and go on the bicycle path. Turn right before the next traffic light (maybe 50 meter before, cross the water and follow the directions for cars above here!
Bring picnic stuff!
The natural environment in and around Karlstad is flourishing and has a wealth of variety. To the north there are extensive coniferous forests. To the south, farming land stretches out to Lake Vanern and its 22.000 islands. The river Klaralven flows through the centre of Karlstad. It rises high in the Norwegian hills and forms an exciting delta as it empties into Lake Vanern.In order to protect the natural environment, the municipality operates environment stations and recycling centres where all recyclable and hazardous materials are taken care of.
Near the nice town of Degerfors there is a part of Tiveden's National Park that consists of a glacial forest. The rockformations here have stand the enormous pressure of the ice (kilometres thick) scrubbing over the land during the ice-age. Therefor the stone has been polished to a smooth, slippery surface.
Abit longer off the path, in northerna parts of the county about 100km from Karlstad theres real wilderness. Go there and see the big four. Wolf, bear, bobcat and järv in swedish besides all the elk and raindeer you can see check out this site before, for prices and so on.Great fun and see animals live!There is a museum for you weakhearted or allergic aswell.
As always there are lots of interesting, smaller places outside the bigger cities. Take the bus or train just 20 mins outside to a place called Kil. There you can see among other things swedens first railroad, but most of all you can go on a trip on a lake in a real 19th century steamship that has been on the bottom of the lake for about100years , then salvaged and restored again(Freja )In good weather its a really good trip for a couple of hours
There are many beautiful lakes and their environments near Karlstad.
You may drive along on the lake-side roads slowly and take pictures of the flowers, meadows, houses, small gift shops, etc.